Based off of Charles Brandt’s book “I Heard You Paint Houses,” this movie chronicles Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran’s life as a hitman including his startling confession of assassinating corrupt Teamster president Jimmy Hoffa.
Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese catch wind of the memoir and decides to bring their “gang” of Joe Pesci, Al Pacino and Harvey Keitel for one last (possibly) mafia love-fest in “The Irishman.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t pan out. The core actors are decades older than the roles they play. If I may so, it looked more like a retirement community theater’s rendition of Goodfellas or Casino. And because of their ages, action scenes were crochety and awkward. Another complaint I had is the choice of Italian-American actors for Jimmy Hoffa (German/Irish) and Frank Sheeran (Irish) played by Al Pacino and Robert De Niro respectively. I got confused especially when Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino) was being derogatory towards another crime boss, Tony Provenzano (Stephen Graham). I kept thinking to Hoffa/Pacino - “Well, aren’t you Italian??”
I have enjoyed the book and sat through the movie, only to find reports backed by mafia experts that Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran was more of an errand boy than a mob hitman. But who’s to say, there is no one alive to challenge that.